Arrow: Penance Review

Separator

By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

Arrow continues to double down on Team Arrow 2.0 while still servicing original series regulars.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Oliver was separated from Team Arrow 2.0 for about half of the episode. Leaving the new recruits without their leader was a bold move by the writers. Really, it was the recruit’s biggest test yet. They were interesting enough to keep my attention without me constantly wondering what Oliver and Lyla were doing. Having Felicity run the team was a surprising move, but there wasn’t another choice. She was very competent while running the team. Also, why is Curtis so incompetent in the field? He was an Olympian; he should catch on to these skills much better than he does.

Meanwhile, Oliver and Lyla had a horrible plan. It makes sense to break Diggle out of jail from a plot and character motivation standpoint. You can’t have one of the Original Team Arrow members be rotting away in prison for the entire season. Oliver and Diggle are brothers. Our green hero would never leave his friend to pay for a crime he didn’t commit. It’s the Oliver that we all know. At least he is consistent. However, from a logical standpoint, it’s ridiculous. Having Diggle return to Star City and apparently as Spartan is a horrible idea. Star City is the first place the authorities will look. And, all of a sudden, Spartan starts reappearing around the city. They need to figure out a better plan.

In the previous episode, Felicity talked to Rory about Havenrock. It was something that was put at the end of the episode, which made it feel rushed. I appreciate that “Penance” didn’t sweep the issue between them under the rug. It’s an event that was traumatic for the both of them and to see them work through it was needed. Even though Rory came back to the team, I’m sure this isn’t the last time Havenrock will be discussed between the pair.

I continue to be impressed with Church as a villain. He’s much different than anything Arrow has done. From the very beginning of the series, the Big Bads have been methodical and had an air of sophistication about them. (Except Ra’s al Ghul, because who really knows what was going on with that character.) Church, on the other hand, has been erratic and gritty but has been shown to be intelligent in all of dealings with Team Arrow 2.0. It’s interesting that he is just a villain with no massive criminal organization behind it, as far as we know. I can’t wait to see how Wild Dog’s hostage plot goes.

“Penance” was the first time this season that the flashbacks didn’t hold their own. I already thought Oliver was accepted into Bratva, so having him continue to try and prove himself was repetitive. However, I did enjoy how the present day and flashbacks were both set inside a prison.

Finally, I’m very surprised how little we have seen and heard of Prometheus. Maybe the new DA, who feels very shady to me and who I feel probably has some ulterior motives, could be the mysterious figure?

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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